Thursday, February 09, 2006

NFL Awards

Here's some year end awards for this NFL Season. I have a special NFL post to put up this weekend. Peace.

Awards Defensive Player of the Year: Osi Umenyiora When the Chargers swapped Manning for Rivers, they asked for Osi in the trade. They settled for a pick. Imagine their D this year with Osi. I went against the grain and picked a guy who had an amazing year and suddenly got the double teams that Strahan used to get (when teams doubled him). He's breathed life into Strahan's career to keep him around maybe an extra year or two. 14.5 sacks and no cheapies. He literally changed that defense by himself.

Offensive Player of the Year: Tiki Barber Sorry, I can't give the award to Shaun Alexander or Larry Johnson. They run behind the two best lines in the NFL. Those lines compete with the mid-90s Cowboys lines for best in the modern era. Tiki ran behind a decent line for 1860 yards, a 5.2 ave, and 530 yards receiving. His TD count is low because the Giants are dumb and don't think he can get 1 yard plunges. On top of all of this, he's done it with team's keying on him and in big games. He had one fumble all year, which he recovered. He's playing great football at a later age for RBs (because he rarely touched the ball his first few years). This goes against my Priest Holmes argument, but different because Barber saw so few touches early in his career. His workout regimen is almost on par with Jerry Rice's; I guess conditioning matters. I still wonder when it (age) is going to hit him, next year or the year after.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Lofa Tatupu Great crop of defensive rookies to choose from with Merriman, Ware, Thurman, and even the late development of Carlos Rogers. I go with Tatupu because of his (great name) ability to run the entire defense, read plays well and make game changing plays. He is decent as a coverage back, and despite being undersized, fights through blocks well. I think the ceiling is higher for Merriman and Ware, but Tatupu had a better all around rookie year.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Cadillac Williams Great nickname, great season. I nearly picked Heath Miller from the Steelers, but the Cadillac was impressive. Jon Gruden beat him into the ground in the first few weeks and he had to take time off, but wow, what a pounding back for being labeled a slasher. I think he has great agility and his ability to pop guys as he is being tackled is impressive. Gruden has a nice set up with Simms-Williams-Clayton set in place for the future.

Anti-Defensive POY: Fred Smoot He had lackluster play after signing that huge contract. He also was involved with the Vikings Cruise scandal. This was just not the year they expected from a big free agent signing.

Anti-Offensive POY: Jamal Lewis I guess the lesson is, don't deal drugs or facilitate drug deals. He'll get an ok deal from a RB hungry team (Patriots/Jets), but he messed up his giant pay day. After his last 2 years, he just needed another 1300+ yard season and he was home free with millions upon millions. Agents say that NFL players get one big contract in their career. Jamal's big contract is going to be far less than what he should have earned. Combine his poor play with his terrible sound bites and you have the AOPOY.

Anti-Defensive ROY: Pacman Jones He has a cooler nickname than Cadillac Williams but is a mental case who needs serious coaching up for the NFL. He also needs to tackle. It's a basic thing in football "you carry the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball, tackle the guy". He is worse than even Deion Sanders at tackling.

Anti-offensive ROY: J.J. Arrington This was tough because Alex Smith was pretty bad, but QB is the toughest position to jump into (besides NHL goalie). Arrington was considered a sleeper/bargain/steal by some draft experts and his 3.3 ypc were awful. I know Arizona is awful, but that's weaker than a 34 year old Emmitt Smith would have put up.

Coach of the Year: Lovie Smith Lovie Smith saw his 'good' QB go down early. He then had a rookie with a bad beard at QB, a holdout and a question mark at RB, and a very good defense. Smith handled it great by playing Ravens 2000 football. Play monster D, run run run, and make the occasional 3rd down conversion through the air or play action pass inside the 10. It's like playing 5 card draw, holding two aces and drawing 3 other cards, getting no help and betting your way to victory.

Anti-Coach of the Year: Marty Schottenheimer Blew a golden opportunity. Don't give me talk about a tough schedule; they had the talent for 12 wins. They did have the anti-Seahawks schedule, but lost a ton of close games. Marty also couldn't talk the GM into letting Gates play opening weekend. He also forgot LT was his RB in some games they lost, and played not to lose in other games. He couldn't get his boys up for the Dolphins at home. Marty also made the huge blunder of playing his QB, one of the top 5 in the NFL, in a meaningless game as he got injured possibly career altering.

GM of the Year: Jerry Jones, Cowboys GM I'm not being a homer here, but look at the off-season signings, Bledsoe, Henry, Rivera, and Jason Ferguson. All were upgrades over last year's versions. The draft was phenomenal. Ware, Spears, Canty, Burnett, and Barber were all contributors to the team and in big ways. They are under the cap and competitive. The defense is set up for the long run, it's just the O-line's future I am worried about, and the #1-2 WRs are both over 30.

Anti-GM of the Year: Tom Heckert, Eagles GM I wanted to give this to the GM of the Chargers, but his draft was just too good. The Eagles have tons of cap space, similar to my Madden franchise, but a split clubhouse. They also rewarded McNabb to the tune of $100 mil while they have let quality guys go and not paid off their defensive stars. They removed the franchise tag from Corey Simon and gave him to the Colts. They also let the NFL leader in sacks leave in the off-season (Burgess). The GM did not find a way to get rid of TO and get something in return for him (I loved the Ricky Williams/Chris Chambers for TO rumor). Now they will cut him, get nothing, and he will torch them. The GM also has flubbed up the WR position for years which forced them to go after a TO style receiver. On top of all of this, they have no running back to go between the tackles, and they signed their super-3rd down back Brian Westbrook to a 5 year $25 mil extension. He responded by breaking a bone in his foot. People knock Reggie Bush for not going over 20 carries much, but Westbrook is an even worse sinner. Westbrook doesn't run between the tackles, which Bush can do. They have cap space but do they have any pieces in place offensively to help them score? McNabb and the midget Westbrook are all they have.

Least Valuable Player: Brett Favre He had an INT in every single week after week 7. I can't believe I am typing this. Favre hurt his team in plenty of big spots, and was a liability in tight games. He's chewing up cap space (retirement = $7.6 Mil gain), and forcing the Packers to make their first round draft pick of '05 wait longer to be given a shot at the starting job. I'd politely ask him to retire, if he doesn't threaten him with a trade. He's my offensive coordinator right now for my Madden franchise.

Most Valuable Player: Steve Smith I think there were three candidates who stood out for their worth: Brady, Smith, and Tiki. Peyton Manning is at that point in his career where he will continue to put up huge numbers and win a lot of games in an astonishing fashion (almost Favrian, Marino-ish). Alexander had an outstanding season production wise. Value to a team goes back to those three guys. Brady played like a QB finally (not a game manager) and carried the Pats to victory. Brady kind of had to act like Manning did in '03 (no defense, banged up RB). The similarities are scary. Tiki, as I stated before, did everything asked of him and more. If the Giants work more screens and outlet passes to him they could really help Eli Manning's rhythm and get serious yardage. Above all others, Steve Smith was just worth more to his team than anyone else. Smith returned punts, caught bombs, caught WR screens that became 60 yard TDs, and posed a riddle to opposing defenses. Jake Delhomme's stats to every other receiver besides Smith look terrible, and when Smith scored they won. In the playoffs, he picked it up a notch and destroyed the Giants and Bears. The Seahawks played a defense that was geared solely towards him (a 5 foot 9 WR). They played linebackers in a zone and a CB on man coverage to contain him. The Panthers had no real running game, and Delhomme played inconsistent all season. Smith was the straw that stirred the drink. Smith started strong and didn't slow up, carrying the team along the way. He even ran back a punt in the NFC Championship game when nothing was working. That is the definition of an MVP.

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